Good experience Lifestyle

Fostering Vs. Adoption: What You Need to Know

Written by Jimmy Rustling

Fostering and adoption are different, but there is an overlap between the two. Importantly, both options provide a welcoming home to vulnerable children or young people. They are often confusing because they involve placing children who cannot live with their birth families with new ones. In this article, we will look at both to help you understand what they entail and what you should know if you are considering either option.


There is a much higher demand for foster carers than there is for adoption in the UK. Current estimates say there are about 76,000 carers and 96,000 children in need of foster homes.

This means anyone who becomes a carer would be providing a service that is in high demand. Those interested in opening their homes to children who need one can learn how to foster a child through the different foster care agencies in the UK.

About 2000 to 3000 children are adopted in the UK annually, meaning there is a much lower demand for adoptive parents than there is for carers.


The primary purpose of foster care is to give children a stable and secure living environment when they cannot live with their birth families for different reasons. Crucially, these children are always their birth family’s legal responsibility since fostering does not change legal guardianship. The hope is for these children to be reunified with their birth families once the underlying issues are taken care of.

Adoptive families provide vulnerable children with a permanent living environment. Once the adoptive parents complete the adoption process, they become the children’s legal guardians. As such, they are required to provide for them and meet their needs at least until they become adults.

Length of Stay

The length of a fostering arrangement varies depending on the underlying circumstances in each case. In some situations, they only spend a few days or weeks with their foster families, but they can spend years with them, sometimes beyond adulthood. Once adopted, the children live with their new family permanently because they become a part of it.


Foster carers receive different types and levels of support from professionals and experts. On the other hand, adoptive parents do not have access to such support, although they can make arrangements privately. However, they can receive support from their agency from when the child is placed with them until the adoption is complete. Such support is usually temporary.

Foster carers also receive financial support in the form of an allowance. The allowance helps them take care of the child’s needs in addition to thanking them for the crucial work they do. They also receive tax relief of £18,140.

Although they do not receive allowances from an agency unless under specific circumstances, adoptive parents can receive other types of support. For example, they can get support from the Adoptive Support fund, which helps pay for therapeutic services for adoptive families that meet specific criteria.

Being a foster carer or adoptive parent is rewarding because you will be providing a home to a child who cannot live with their parents. They are different, and it is crucial to understand exactly where they differ to better understand your options.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

About the author

Jimmy Rustling

Born at an early age, Jimmy Rustling has found solace and comfort knowing that his humble actions have made this multiverse a better place for every man, woman and child ever known to exist. Dr. Jimmy Rustling has won many awards for excellence in writing including fourteen Peabody awards and a handful of Pulitzer Prizes. When Jimmies are not being Rustled the kind Dr. enjoys being an amazing husband to his beautiful, soulmate; Anastasia, a Russian mail order bride of almost 2 months. Dr. Rustling also spends 12-15 hours each day teaching their adopted 8-year-old Syrian refugee daughter how to read and write.